Johnson to activate Davis today Outfielder isn't ready to do much more than run yet

Orioles Notebook

September 01, 1997|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Manager Davey Johnson said outfielder Eric Davis will be activated when rosters expand today and will travel with the club this week.

"I know he may not be ready," Johnson said, "but if we're short, maybe we can use him to pinch-run instead of a pitcher."

"Scare them," Davis said. "Make them throw the ball away.

"I'm not ready to play, but whatever will help us win. We'll just have to wait and see. I feel a little better some days, then start to push myself and get tired. That's why I didn't work out Saturday."

Davis, whose next six-week period of chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer begins Sept. 10, also said there's no chance he would play in the outfield.

"I don't think you'd want to put me in for defense and then have to hit for me," he said.

Walton passes fitness test

Jerome Walton worked out for Orioles officials before yesterday's game and showed he was ready to be taken off the disabled list today.

Walton played catch with strength and conditioning coach Tim Bishop, then did some stretching and running under the watch of Johnson, general manager Pat Gillick, assistant GM Kevin Malone and trainer Richie Bancells. He later took batting practice.

"He looked good. He ran with no limp," Johnson said, adding that he will use Walton in the outfield.

Walton has been on the disabled list since April 25 with leg and groin injuries. He's had three surgical procedures this year.

"I really think I can run 100 percent, but I have to get over the mental part. I'm running good right now," he said.

Pitcher Shawn Boskie also will be added to the roster today, joining pitcher Brian Williams, who arrived yesterday from Triple-A Rochester.

Hurting year for Hoiles

It's becoming more difficult for Chris Hoiles to keep track of all the aches and pains that have accumulated during the season.

He added another Saturday when New York's Todd Pratt inadvertently hit him on the back as he swung and missed at a pitch from Rick Krivda. Hoiles was rising to make a throw to second base when struck by Pratt's bat, then doubled over in pain and was attended to by Bancells.

"He got me right on the spine. That's what hurt the most," said Hoiles, who stayed in the game. "It's just another thing that hurts. Don't worry about it. Just another ice bag."

Emotional fame induction

Johnson, former catcher Rick Dempsey and former general manager Harry Dalton were inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in a ceremony that took place on the field before the game.

"It's a great day for me, a special day," said Dempsey, the MVP of the 1983 World Series. "There have been some great players enshrined in that Hall of Fame before me. It's a great honor for me."

Johnson said the day had special meaning for him because he was going into the hall at the same time as Dalton, the club's farm director when Johnson was brought up to the majors for 20 games of the 1965 season.

"He was the architect of the great Orioles teams," Johnson said. "I'm real happy I'm going in with Harry. That means more to me than anything.

"I want to thank [owner] Peter Angelos for bringing me back [as manager] and all the fans. It's a special moment."

Valentine on Harnisch

Mets manager Bobby Valentine said he was embarrassed by an incident that took place with pitcher Pete Harnisch at the team's hotel after Saturday's game. Harnisch, who had been designated for assignment that afternoon and yesterday was traded to Milwaukee for minor-league outfielder Donny Moore, unleashed an obscenity-laced tirade at Valentine that the manager said lasted a short time but was witnessed by women and children.

"It wasn't confrontational," said Valentine, who later was called a "very low-grade person" by Harnisch in an interview with WFAN, the Mets' flagship radio station. "I never raised my voice and never cursed. And there were plenty of witnesses. I was embarrassed, very embarrassed."

Around the horn

The Orioles drew 144,165 for this series, the largest three-game total in Camden Yards history. Yesterday's crowd of 48,075 was the second-largest for a regular-season game here. Mets second baseman Carlos Baerga left in the ninth inning with tightness in his right calf. He's batting .487 (19-for-39) lifetime against Jimmy Key. The Mets posted their 40th comeback victory of the season Saturday, tops in the major leagues.

Hits and misses

On the field: Shortstop Mike Bordick's error in the seventh inning was his second in six games but only his third in the last 61. It also didn't cost the Orioles because catcher Chris Hoiles threw out Bernard Gilkey trying to steal second.

In the dugout: Manager Davey Johnson removed Jimmy Key after six innings and 103 pitches. With the Orioles down 4-1, Key was assured of remaining winless at Camden Yards since May 7.

In the clubhouse: "I was a good player, I wasn't a great player. I wasn't afraid of getting my uniform dirty, working hard. Brooks [Robinson] had six Gold Gloves when I got there, and he was taking 100 ground balls a day in spring training, dirty as all get out. I was shaking my head, 'Why are you doing that? You're the greatest fielding third baseman in baseball.' And he said, 'That's the reason I am, because I take all these grounders.' And I said, 'Ah.' The light went off." -- Johnson, one of yesterday's Orioles Hall of Fame inductees.

Pub Date: 9/01/97

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